Longtime mayor takes on political newcomer in Charlestown mayoral race

Political newcomer challenges long-time Mayor in Charlestown

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WAVE) - Political mailers are out, campaign signs are up and now the election is just days away.

In Charlestown, a political newcomer is challenging the long-time Mayor and many residents in town are taking sides.

For the past 16 years, Bob Hall has been the top dog in town, serving as mayor for four terms. This year, he'll have a solid campaign on his hands as he's challenged by Treva Hodges, who's building community support by calling for change.

Neighbors put up signs in yards as they declare support for mayor Bob Hall or his challenger, Treva Hodges. Charlestown has now become a town divided.

Hall, running for a fifth term in Charlestown, said he’s most proud of how people’s opinion of Charlestown has grown under his leadership. With economic improvements filtering steadily up the road from nearby River Ridge, he wants to make sure the small town is able to grow with the business park.

“With River Ridge, the East End Bridge, the improvements that we’ve made in town. So the biggest thing we want to make sure of over the next four years is we continue to see the growth come up over Highway 62, that we grow smart and that it benefits our community,” Mayor Bob Hall, Republican candidate for Charlestown Mayor.

With planning for a massive new family sports park underway and new developments in town moving in, Hall said he wants to focus on improving connectivity if re-elected, adding in more sidewalks and trails.

The city has faced scrutiny in recent years over troubles with its water quality and redevelopment decisions. But Hall said his biggest fight over the next four years will be bringing in the right kind of development to grow the community and its economy.

“One of the things that we’ve done is taken on major issues, I’ve been the change agent as a mayor. But I don’t really, as I look to the future, I don’t see a lot of big challenges ahead of the community other than growth and making sure that happens right,” Hall said.

Challenger and Democrat Treva Hodges said the way the current administration is handling ongoing issues with water and Pleasant Ridge redevelopment issues is what got her to jump in the race.

"Taxpayers shouldn't be spending money on legal bills to defend the redevelopment decisions of an administration," said Treva Hodges, Democratic candidate for Charlestown Mayor.

With a PHD in humanities and experience educating at the collegiate level, Hodges said she wants to bring in more community involvement and transparency to town government.

“It’s about who is going to treat them with respect and who is going to work in full openness and be responsible,” Hodges said.

Hodges said she wants to fix ongoing issues with drainage, stormwater and wastewater treatment plants. And, she too, wants to make sure that the town grows its economy off River Ridge's success.

“Finding a balance between how do we tackle those really expensive projects, how do we manage the growth that’s coming our way through River Ridge, how do we manage and incentivize companies and development opportunities that are going to improve the economic situation of our residents,” Hodges said.

Early voting is already underway in Clark County. The election is Tuesday, November 5.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.